Ignatian volunteer Barbara A. Lee thinks about applying the Spiritual Exercises to the later stages of life in an article for America, “Aging with Ignatius.” Lee writes:
Making the exercises involves a commitment away from self-absorption to a God-centered life…First and foremost, the Exercises are about seeing, loving and following Jesus. At any age, we need to continue contemplating the life of Jesus—in Scripture-based prayer, the daily examen and regular journaling. Living this commitment poses new challenges for older adults. There are new kinds of choices, including life changes that may be involuntary, inevitable losses and frustration when favorite activities are no longer possible because of diminished capacity or reduced income. It is important to preserve the freedom to discern what underlies these feelings. Which are drawing us to God, and which are drawing us away?
Read the full article for Lee’s points about the Spiritual Exercises as helpful for decision-making in the new stages of life that older age brings, attitudes toward property after retirement, and the graces of the third and fourth weeks for those facing death.